LONDON: Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey has warned that voting to leave the European Union could damage the UK’s technology industry.
Speaking at the launch of London Technology Week, Mr Vaizey said that being part of the EU had benefited UK technology start-ups in terms of investment and market access – but voting to leave would put that at risk.
“The digital single market is a massive opportunity in the UK for businesses and start-ups to spread their wings,” he said.
“We can’t put that at risk. We have had massive success stories from the talent pool coming in from Europe, but if we vote to leave on Thursday we put that at risk, and that talent could start going elsewhere.”
However, the Leave campaign has suggested that leaving Europe and negotiating individual trade deals with the rest of the world will be better for UK businesses.
London Technology Week is designed to showcase the best start-up technology businesses in the UK, with demonstrations of prototype technology in the fashion and healthcare industry among those on show.
Events are expected to be attended by around 43,000 people, according to organisers, with Gordon Innes from organiser London & Partners calling the city one of the “global hotspots” for technology.
“Tech-savvy Londoners welcome new digital advances that are going to revolutionise the way that we live and it is crucial that we harness those ideas to help the capital work even better as a city,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“As someone who has helped to run a successful business, I look forward to supporting the tech sector so it goes from strength to strength over the coming years.”